Mangaluru, March 22, 2016: A 23-km stretch of the Charmadi Ghat, from Charmadi village in Dakshina Kannada district to Kottigehara in Chikmagalur district, is set for an upgrade to bear the load of heavy vehicular traffic in view of the proposed closure of Shiradi Ghat for six months from December 1 this year.
Shiradi Ghat, on National Highway 48, has been a vital link between coastal Karnataka and the hinterland, including Bangalore and surrounding areas. Owing to its frequent states of disrepair, the Union Ministry of Road Transport and Highways has decided to lay concrete on the 26-km stretch of Shiradi Ghat.
The National Highways division of the State Public Works Department is taking up reconstruction from December 1, 2014 to May 31, 2015, after completely closing the ghat section for vehicular traffic.
Charmadi Ghat, connecting Belthangady taluk in Dakshina Kannada district and Mudigere taluk in Chikmagalur district (State Highway 65), is one of the two other major links connecting the coast with the hinterland, the other being Sampaje Ghat connecting Sullia taluk and Madikeri in Kodagu. While the Mysore-Bantwal (State Highway 88) stretch was recently reconstructed, the Charmadi Ghat stretch needs modifications to handle heavy traffic, according to officials in the PWD.
The Charmadi Ghat stretch, which does not have a uniform width, would be widened up to 12 m.
The work is likely to cost about Rs. 120 crore, the sources said. Still, multi-axle vehicles would not be allowed on Charmadi Ghat.
Such vehicles would have to operate either via Sampaje Ghat or Gerusoppa Ghat on the Honnavar-Bangalore National Highway, the sources said.